Paddon crashes, spectator involved in Monte Carlo
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The Hyundai driver lost control on some ice and slid off the road and into a bank where someone was standing.
Live footage showed the spectator tumble down the bank and other spectators rush to check on his condition.
Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were not injured in the incident.
The stage was cancelled by rally organisers.
A second stage was scheduled for this morning's first day of the season-opening event.
Conditions were treacherous in the hills where the night-time stage was being held. Black ice featured prominently in 0°C temperature making it difficult for drivers to judge grip levels.
Paddon was seen on television coverage frantically waving his hands around. The car didn't appear too damaged and in normal circumstances they would have tried to get the car back on its wheels and attempt to continue.
It is the worst possible start to the new season for the World Rally Championship, which ushered in a new spec of cars and welcomed Citroen and Toyota back into the championship this year.
Four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier and Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville had already completed the stage when Paddon had his accident.
Earlier this week, Paddon told Stuff.co.nz he would need more "brave pills" for the Monte Carlo event, as he and his rivals adjusted to their new, more powerful machines.
"You do notice the extra power and corners coming at you a little quicker, but at the same time the car has more capabilities, it can carry that extra speed through corners," said the Hyundai factory driver.
"It just means you have to take a few more brave pills while you get used to it. After that, it becomes second nature and before long, we'll be wanting more power."
UPDATE: 1:30 pm
A spectator involved in Kiwi Hayden Paddon's rally crash in Monte Carlo has died.
Paddon has taken to social media to convey his thoughts to the family of the specator.
"I am incredibly saddened by today's accident and my thoughts are with the family and friends of the person involved. It's difficult to say much more at the moment as we are in shock with what has happened. I'm sorry for the family, the fans & our sport!"
The Hyundai driver lost control on ice, and slid off the road and into a bank, where someone was standing.
Live footage showed the spectator tumble down the bank and other spectators rush to check on the person.
Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were not injured.